Hobbled by the absence of its second leading scorer, the Franklin County Seahawks boys basketball team downed North Bay Haven Friday night at the Nest, but only after they had let the Buccaneers nip at their heels all night long.
In the end, the Seahawks came away with a 59-55 win to lift their record to 8-7 overall and 1-0 in district play.
Coach Ray Bailey’s squad was without the 11 points and five rebounds a game contribution of freshman Sadiq Joines, who has been sidelined with an ankle sprain. He is expected to return later in the season, but it is not yet clear when that will be.
The Seahawks were with the services of senior Mikhai Larry, a recent transfer from Port St. Joe.
Larry scored six points against the Bucs, behind senior Ethan Kembro and Lonnie O’Neal, who each scored 13, and freshman Jeremiah Allen with 10. Sophomore Ja’Michael Miller scored eight and eighth grader Dre North and sophomore Nehemiah Robinson each three. Junior Ajaylen McNair added two.
O’Neal led the team with 12 rebounds and four blocked shots.
On Jan. 3 at home, the Seahawks fell to Class 6A Lincoln, which is 11-2 overall.
Franklin County was neck-and-neck all game, but eventually was defeated 72-59.
That night it was Allen’s turn to lead the team in scoring, with a dozen, followed by Kembro’s nine, and eight each for Robinson and Larry. Senior William Chastine added five, O’Neal four and two from Jones.
Both Robinson and Larry nailed each of the two three-point tries they attempted. The team shot 63 percent from the field, but drained only two of their 10 free throw shots.
The team squared off against Community Leadership Academy Wednesday night at home, and then got set to travel Saturday night to Port St. Joe where they’ll take on their arch-rival Tiger Sharks.